Wednesday, 2 May 2012

suburban backyard studio

I spent the last three weeks in the Sydney suburbs with my brother and his family. Wanting to keep my niece and nephew entertained while also keeping up with my production of dailymades, which I started last November, I found myself collecting green waste to weave with on my way to and from their favourite ‘jungle gym’ and local parkland. Attuned to foraging for materials for basketry in urban areas since writing my book Practical Basketry Techniques, I realised that Sydney gardens and parks, rather unsurprisingly, are abundant with the most fantastic range and diversity of plants to work with.

Talking about my backyard weaving endeavours to Lily Katakouzinos and Lindie Ward from the Powerhouse Museum, who I worked with on Sydney Design and the Love Lace exhibition last year, the idea of planning an open garden event/exhibition came about. This would have me create a number of sculptural woven interventions, using plant materials at hand, in private and/or public gardens throughout the city. With its climate and rich mix of native and imported sub tropical vegetation, Sydney must be one of the best places on earth for such a project. So thank you Lily for suggesting this and Lindie for your further thoughts and support with this project.

Kai collecting stringy bark
stingy bark eucalyptus
clematis and stringy bark
more eucalyptus bark
Back to the backyard meanwhile, here are a few images of the things the kids and I made using mainly stringy bark and palm tree leaves, some of which have also been posted on dailymades.

'dilly bag' inspired plaited stringy bark basket
plaited stringy bark
palm leaf sheath bowl
plaited palm leaf sheath basket
Mary tying sticks together
moulded plastic chair with woven back
woven trolley basket (stringy bark and string)
Kai helping marking out space for weaving
woven play area (sticks and twined palm tree leaves)

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